by Carl Strang
Mayslake Forest Preserve has been quiet, and for the most part remains in winter mode. Large numbers of American tree sparrows still are present, though they are wandering into an expanded portion of the preserve. For instance, one day in late January they shifted to the off leash dog area and, joined by some juncos, a couple song sparrows and a white-throated sparrow, fed on weed seeds.
At long last the stream corridor marsh has begun to refill.
A front brought heavy rain, then cold that froze the collected waters.
We continue to get periods of rain, and the river bulrushes have begun to collapse.
With the ground frozen, much of the rain is running off, but some is collecting in depressions like the marsh. We can hope for the rain to continue and perhaps avoid a repeat of last year’s drought.
In the meantime, skunk tracks have begun to appear, one of the early signs that spring is coming.